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Carrickfergus Castle is a Norman castle in Northern Ireland, situated in the town of Carrickfergus in County Antrim, on the northern shore of Belfast Lough. Unlike many other castles of this era, Carrickfergus Castle sits in excellent condition. In fact, despite being besieged in turn by the Scots, Irish, English and French, and playing an important military role until 1928, it's one of the best preserved medieval structures in Ireland and the only preserved castle of its age open to the public.
For more than 800 years, Carrickfergus Castle has been an imposing monument on the Northern Irish landscape whether approached by land, sea or air. The castle now houses historical displays as well as cannons from the 17th to the 19th centuries.
A visit will give you the opportunity to see how the Great Hall at the top of the Great Tower has been transformed by the new roof which has greatly improved the visitor’s experience.
The Carrickfergus Visitor Information Centre is located within the castle where local national visitor information can be found as well as a range of local crafts and castle memorabilia. There is a wide selection of books on the history of the area as well as childrens's books and local recipe books.
After your tour, sit down and enjoy a tea or coffee and spend time plannning your itinerary with the help of the knowledgable Visitor Information staff who are always on hand and happy to help you plan the next stage of your journey.
What are the opening hours?
Easter to September: 9:30am - 4:30pm (last admission)
October - Easter: 9:30am - 4pm (last entry 3:30pm)
What is the visitor experience?
Tickets can only be purcahsed on arrival at the Visitor Information Centre located inside the entrance, there's no need to pre-book!
Visitors can then make their way around the site on their own, climbing to the top of the keep, walking the walls and admiring the views over Belfast Lough between the crenels.
Various rooms within the castle are open to the public, including the banquet hall, vaults and armory. Many of these feature life-like props and are often decorated seasonally.
How much does admission cost?
Children: £4.00 (Under fours go free)
Family (5 people with max. 2 adults): £18
Annual tickets: £12 (adult) £8 (Children) £9 (Seniors/Students) - unlimited visits in the year.
Group Rates: £4.50 pp (for groups of 15+)
Are there guided tours available?
Guided tours are available daily at no extra charge.
How long will a visit to Carrickfergus Castle take?
You should factor in a couple of hours to fully explore the castle and it's various exhibitions.
Is there anything for children?
Yes! Kids have the chance to dress up in medieval and period costumes and enjoy playing with the props in the costume room where they can enact scenes from the castle's history, or challenge each other with a game of giant chess in the keep (adults will have just as much fun doing this!) The education room also provides video footage of the history of the castle (available in various languages). A sensory room has also been created to provide a calm, relaxing space for children with low light, sensory tent and more. Children of all ages will be fascinated with the many life-like exhibits, including a Knight in suit of armour, a miniature model of the entire castle and lots of other characters throughout the castle!
While you're visiting Carrickfergus Castle, why not make a day iof it? Click here to explore other things to see and do in the area...
- Gift Shop
- Guided Tours Available
- Picnic Area
Children & Infants
- Accept children (Minimum age)
- Facilities for children
- Accept coach parties
- Cater for Corporate events
- Cater for school groups
- Event venue
- Family Fun
- Groups accepted
- Groups catered for
- Visitor information
Parking & Transport
- On site parking
- Station nearby
- All major credit/debit cards accepted
- Educational Visits Accepted
- Film or TV location
- In town/city centre
- Of historic, literary or architectural interest
- Outdoor Attraction
- Unique venue
Travel & Trade
- Family Discount